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Microsoft Will Not Quit Trying to Imitate Apple

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is about to open a flagship store in NYC. Just like when they released the Surface Tablet, a pale imitation of the iPad, this move screams of desperation.

Instead of trying to out innovate Apple (NASDAQ: AAPLE,) they are going the China route and throwing up a store that is a carbon copy of an Apple Retail store. Open spaces, long tables and even their version of a genius bar. While Microsoft has been doing this for a while, this NYC venture represents their largest store, and thus thrusts their imitating ways into the national spotlight. They have built a store that will cost them “tens of millions of dollars” a year to lease, and I can’t think of one friend I have in NYC who would ever be caught dead inside of one. That’s not a scientific analysis, but if I can almost guarantee most people in their twenties would walk right past their store, that’s not a good sign for Microsoft.

In my eyes, Microsoft has been a company on the decline ever since Bill Gates left. And while I’m sure the company is happy that he’s off curing AIDS somewhere, I bet they also wish he could come back and give them some guidance. They built their reputation on software. No amount of knock off shiny products and Apple Store imitating is going to give them an edge in retail. They’d have a better chance attracting customers by coming up with a kick-ass new version of Minesweeper. That’s what the people want!